The thread about whether it is allowed, necessary, offensive, or charitable (or so on) for a Catholic parish to offer its church for Yom Kippur services raises the following question with me:
**I know from numerous archdiocesan statements during the bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Portland that parish property is, under canon law, the legal property of the parish, and not the property of the archdiocese. **My question is this: does that give the parish any legal perogative over the use of their property, other than not to be sued for damages for actions taken by employees of the Archdiocese, rather than employees of the parish itself? And what does canon law mean by “parish” in this case? Parishioners, by a vote? A duly-elected parish council? An entity with legal existence under canon law, but which the parishioners have no actual control over? Or…?
Does a parish have the legal authority, under canon law, to prohibit anyone, even their bishop or the employees of the diocese, to perform or give permission for non-Catholic liturgies? If so, how? In answering, you might define that in one of two ways:
- Non-Catholic liturgies could be defined as anything not promulgated by Rome for the use of Catholics everywhere or by the local ordinary specifically for use by Catholics in his diocese.
- Non-Catholic liturgies could be defined more narrowly as liturgies promulgated and/or participated in by a sect or denomination not directly under the authority of Rome.
That is, a Catholic Mass with rubrics violations would be non-Catholic under definition (1), but not under definition (2), but Yom Kippur services or even a liturgy written by the Lutherans would fit both.
Now, with regards to definition (1), theoretically I’m asking whether a parish would have the right under canon law to prohibit violations of the rubrics, but of course in practical terms, what could they do to enforce that they don’t already have a right to insist on as individual Catholics with a right to the sacraments? With regards to definition (2), I’m asking whether a parish has to allow its pastor give permission for non-Catholics to worship on parish property, or if it can ever forbid that.
Specifically, can a parish prohibit their pastor and/or staff or even the diocese from allowing non-Catholic liturgies on their property? In their church? If so, under what canon(s) would they have that right, and how practically would that be likely to play out?
NOTE: The thread isn’t about should the parish do it, or ought the parish do it. The question is: could they? Is that their right?
I invite answers to this question that are both practical and theoretical: that is, what is legally so, what is practically so, and so on. For instance, is it the usual protocol of bishops to respect such a desire from a parish in his diocese, if a parish articulates that desire to him in some particular way?
I’m very curious to hear conjectures about the politics and protocol would might come into play in such cases, not just the letter of the law.